Tag Archives: Church Road

Grey to Green – St George in Bloom are working hard

We were delighted  to report in April on St George in Bloom‘s success in obtaining Royal Horticultural Society funding for their grey to green transformation project.  The group has gone on to attract even more funding and support for the project and have been doing a LOT of physical work.

Phase 2 - hard at work2

Some of this project builds on earlier work carried out by the Church Rd Town Team working with St George in Bloom that we reported on in March.

Here is the latest report of their progress from the Chair of St George in Bloom, Grenville Johnson.

The transformation of the area in front the billboards site in Church Road St George, Bristol.

An RHS funded ‘Grey to Green Health & Happiness project

St George in Bloom is one of just 40 community groups across the UK to receive support from the Royal Horticultural Society in the form of a £500 grant to deliver an innovative gardening project as part of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign.

A large team of volunteers gathered together on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th June 2016 including members of the Church Road Town Team together with members of St George in Bloom, and a group of employees from Aviva Insurance community outreach initiative to start on the grey to green transformation within the formerly neglected area in front the billboards at Church Road St George.

Phase 2 - hard at work

The members of the Sikh Temple also helped to transport all the waste, and they kindly refreshed us with regular cups of tea and biscuits.

grey to green team

The plants are now installed together with new fence panels that are located in between the billboards.

A St George in Bloom member has made four large wooden planters, and these have been attached to the railings at the front of the Sikh Temple and planted up with flowers inspired by the traditional Sikh colours of blue and orange.

Phase 2 - Carol  and planter

The planting scheme at the billboards site has been designed to attract Bees and pollinating insects, and St George in Bloom is the first community group in the city to support Bristol University’s ‘Get Bristol Buzzing’ project that is working to halt the serious decline of Bees and other pollinating insects.

Phase 2 - planted

There is still more work to be done, including a top dressing of bark mulch to protect the plants, and the installation of two planted containers, and a bench so that passers – by can sit and relax when they pass the site.

We are most grateful to the local town team who also made a financial contribution to this project, and several local companies namely Bowland Stone who donated the fence panels, and Park Insurance who will kindly donate a bench for the garden site. We are also most grateful to Bristol in Bloom who also donated some of the plants.

Finally, we also wish to thank the Royal Horticultural Society who kindly awarded us the Grey to Green Health and Happiness grant that enabled this exciting and innovative project to proceed.

We hope that this project will help to improve this busy area of Church Road in St George and make an attractive and colourful garden for passers – by to enjoy.

Grenville Johnson.

Chair of St George in Bloom.

Phase 2 - planted 2

What a team!

The Church Rd Town Team has been working hard at the big billposter site near 301-307 Church Rd close to St George Community Centre and the Sikh Gurdwara.

town team The story so far:

  • Gaive Golding, leading this project for the Church Rd Town Team (CRTT), Fin McNab (from Sustrans) and some others broke up all of the tarmac on the site.
  • CRTT, aided by Fin and a group of people from Good Gym Bristol, cleared the site.  CRTT provided a skip to cart the tarmac etc away.
  • Fin obtained and sowed a mix of wildflower seeds.
  • Time passed…. the seeds didn’t take….
  • CRTT members cleared the weeds again…
  • On Sunday 6th March, 2016, CRTT laid the membrane purchased using Green Capital money from Bristol City Council as pictured above.  From right to left are Maxine and Nigel Williams, Gaive Golding, June Barclay,  Ian Townsend and Simon Webb.

Next steps:

  • Plant the area and lay bark chipping between the plants.
  • CRTT are working with St George in Bloom to do the planting:
    • CRTT have allocated a little under £500 from the remaining CRTT funds for planting.
    • Grenville Johnson, Chair of St George in Bloom, has submitted an application for funding from RHS.  Grenville also hopes to be able to obtain the plants at trade prices using his RHS contacts.
    • St George in Bloom, CRTT and any willing volunteers who can be recruited, will do the planting, to save labour costs.  Gaive, who used to be a landscape gardener, will be a source of expert guidance.
    • The plan is use aromatic herbs, such as Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender, that will require little watering and will be able to cope with the poor soil quality on the site.  Depending on funding and their ability to obtain the plants, the team hope to get the planting done in the next couple of months.
    • Gaive has found a source of bark chippings which will be laid as soon as it can be delivered.

Aspirations – maybe, one day… some flagstones/a short path and a bench…

If you would like to keep up to date with the Church Rd Town Team’s activities sign up to their mailing list.

Mayor’s Visit to St George

photo selection

George Ferguson CBE, Mayor of Bristol, visited various places within St George on Friday 30 October at the invitation of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

His visit to St George NP area started at the junction of Lyppiatt Road and Church Road, where he discussed with local residents the concerns they have about heavy goods vehicles using Lyppiatt Road, inconsiderate parking and speeding cars.


His next stop was in Gladstone Street where he learnt of plans to improve this small park area.


From there he moved on to Meadow Vale Community Centre in Speedwell where he learnt of plans for a new community building for the area.


He also saw a mural painted by young people the day before on a concrete wall at the edge of the adjacent park. The painting project was organised by Young Bristol using Green Capital 2015 funding to brighten up the park.

At Dundridge Park the Mayor saw at first hand the deteriorating condition of ‘The Pavilion’ which is used as changing facilities for football matches.


A representative of a local Community Speed Watch scheme met the Mayor on Crews Hole Road where traffic speed and volume was discussed.  The Mayor was also shown the plans that have been produced to improve cycling provision and road safety on this route.


The centre piece for the St George area is a large Victorian park; St George Park.  Here the Mayor met with members of the Friends of St George Park, where they discussed the ongoing issues being caused by fishing in the park and the impact this was having on birds using the park lake.


The final stop on the Mayor’s tour of St George was to the library in St George Park where the Mayor discussed the services provided at the library and the potential to make the library more of a community hub.  At the library, there was also the opportunity to meet with members of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership where a variety of issues affecting the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area was discussed.


Rob Acton-Campbell, Chair of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership, commented “It was useful to be able to show George some of the issues of concern to residents in the St George NP area.  Many of these issues have been ongoing for some time, and we hope that by the Mayor seeing the issues himself it will help to bring them to a resolution.”

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, explained: “It is always useful to me to be able witness on the ground some of the local concerns and aspirations. Members of the St George Neighbourhood Partnership and others were able to voice their concerns about an extensive range of issues in the St George area, including transport, parks, playgrounds and libraries. I have taken full note and shall do all I can to enable the Council to address the issues where practically possible in stringent times.”

Following the vist, Mayor George Fergusson sent a letter of thanks to the Neighbourhood Partnership Chair which was read out at the NP meeting on 16th December.
Letter from Mayor George Fergusson
Schedule of action points

The Mayor’s visit to the St George Neighbourhood Partnership area was part of a series of visits to each of the 14 Neighbourhood Partnership areas in the city.


View Photo Gallery – Photos by Frances Gard



Changing Church Road

If you use Church Road regularly you may have noticed a few changes appearing over recent months. This is thanks to the work of local volunteers who are part of Church Road Town Team, a small group which is dedicated to making the high street a destination. We met three members of the team to find out more.

Simon Webb is a resident and local business owner and has been involved in community action around Church Road for a number of years, since starting Redfest in 2008. “When we set up our business here we could see the potential of the street and that with some small changes it could be a much nicer environment for residents and shoppers. We applied to the Mary Portas pilot scheme, came up with ideas and were rewarded with an ‘our town first’ grant which we used to paint tired looking shop fronts and create a successful Christmas event. We want to show others that together we can make a difference to Church Road.”

Redfield resident June Barclay was already involved in community action. “I am part of Church Road Action Group which focuses on working with the police and council to improve the environment. From that I got involved in the town team as I liked the sound of the projects. My partner and I used to run a business on Church Road as well.”

The team took part in a national research project – High Street 2020 – which looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the road and identified challenges around the busy traffic and lack of social space to congregate, as well as limited night time economy.

“We need more places for people to linger. We also want to promote the identity and character of the place with better signage and a website. This work is as much about building community as supporting businesses” says Simon.

Maxine and Nigel Williams got involved after meeting the Town Team at a High Street 2020 meeting. “A high street is the heart of a place. It’s you bump into your neighbours and feel more connected to where you live. It’s important to amplify that” explains Nigel. So far the team has raised funds for new street trees and benches in Church Road as well as improving unloved small green areas through its ‘pocket spaces’ project. They have also hosted the family friendly Merry Little Church Road Christmas which included street theatre, an interactive toy hunt, music and a winter lantern parade which they plan to repeat this year.

The team is now looking at other town teams around the UK, and what they can learn from them. “Right now we’re focusing to make things happen, any help from other business owners and residents is always welcome!” adds Simon.

Church Road Town Team meets monthly. If you’ve got ideas or energy for helping make projects happen on Church Road contact Simon on 07815 719403 or visit www.churchroadtownteam.co.uk


This article was first published in the Summer 2015 edition of ‘Up Our Street’ published by Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management. The current and previous editions can be read at www.eastonandlawrencehill.org.uk



Shaping the future of Church Road

As part of the ‘The High Street UK 2020 Project’ there will be a workshop on the future of Church Road from 6 to 9pm on 3rd July 2014.

The High Street UK 2020 project is being led by Manchester Metropolitan University alongside the Institute of Place Management and working with leading experts in other universities and in retail, property and town and city management.

The project has been examining all of the published research on what contributes to a healthy high street and has identified more than two hundred possible factors. A team of experts has now graded these factors based on the amount of influence that they can have on town centre vitality and viability and the amount of influence a local initiative can have on them. In other words, they have been seeking to identify what should be the focus for a local initiative if it wants to ensure it has a sustainable high street into the future.

Over the next few months the team will be working with the ten participating towns to draw up action plans that are appropriate for each high street. The first part of this process is the forthcoming workshop. They will be sharing with you the key lessons that we have learned from their research to date and identify for you the priority factors for high street vitality and viability. They want to use the workshop to get your input and views, particularly on the nature of the high street.

More details and programme for the workshop

If you would like to attend please email Jason Thorne, Economic Development, Bristol City Council jason.thorne@bristol.gov.uk

Goods news for Church Rd in St George and Redfield

See the Post’s news story here.